About Polysomnography Ovenight Sleep Studies
The most thorough way to test for sleep apnea is to book-in for an overnight stay at a sleep clinic, called a polysomnography, or PSG.
The cost of such overnight stays in Australia is covered by Medicare, (the refund is currently under review). See costs for additional costs.
The PSG measures breathing and Apneas, chest movement, oxygen levels, REM, leg movement, brain activity, heart rate through about 25 external probes attached to your head, neck, chest, and legs. None of these tests require the puncturing of the skin. These measurements are monitored through the night.
It is matter of discussion and opinion whether all this information is essential to diagnose OBD, Obstructive Breathing Disorder, or sleep apnea, but this extra information will help diagnose other less common breathing disorders, as well as other medical conditions such as heart failure and brain disorders.
If sleep apnea is confirmed by the PSG, most sleep specialists will insist on a second overnight stay, where again about 24 probes will be attached, as well as a face mask. Varying air pressures will be applied throughout the night to determine the optimal settings for the patient.
Most possible sleep apnea sufferers do not want the inconvenience and commitment of a night away from home. There is also considerable delay in obtaining a bed in public hospitals, ranging from 1 to 6 months.
Sleep Study Advantages
A full sleep study is the best and safest test for sleep apnea and its medical effects.
However it is costly, either to the patient or the medical insurance, intimidating, uncomfortable and inconvenient.
However, if you can, especially if there are other medical problems, take an overnight sleep study.
However for those who cannot or do not want an overnight sleep study, a simple home test such as the ApneaLink™ is an option. At least with the ApneaLink™ the client will know whether Sleep Apnea is a problem, and can then investigate or treat further.